The game of cricket is soon to see some real makeover from 28th of September as ICC announced on Tuesday as the top-most body of the cricket went on to amend rules in the cricket. The main changes workaround to pertain to restrict on bat thickness, the powers afforded to umpires to send violent players off the field and tweaks to the Decision Review System (DRS).
With the changes coming into effect on Thursday, it will affect upcoming South Africa-Bangladesh and Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test series, while the ongoing ODI series between India and Australia to be last to play with the existing regulations.
BAT SIZE: Restriction of the length and width of the bats remains unchanged but the thickness of the edges can’t be more than 40mm and the overall depth can be a maximum of 67 mm. To check, umpires will be issued with a bat gauge, which they can use to check a bat’s legality.
PLAYER SEND-OFF: A player can now be sent off the field for the remainder of the match for serious misconduct, meaning it will apply to Level 4 offences while the Level 1 to 3 offences will continue to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct. Level 4 offences include threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, physically assaulting a player or any other person.
DECISION REVIEW SYSTEM (DRS): A review will now not be lost by a team in case of a decision that remains unchanged due to ‘umpire’s call’. In Test matches, there will be no more top-up reviews after 80 overs of an innings. This means there can only be two unsuccessful reviews in each innings. Teams will now also be allowed to use DRS in T20Is.
RUN OUTS: If a batsman is running or diving towards the crease with forward momentum with his/her bat grounded behind the popping crease but loses contact with the ground at the time of the wickets being disturbed, will considered to be not out. Same rule will apply for a player trying to regain ground to avoid being stumped.
CATCHES: For catches taken on the boundary, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from within the boundary, otherwise a boundary will be scored. Additionally, a batsman can now be out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper.
“Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the Laws of Cricket that have been announced by the MCC. We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes and we are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches,” said ICC General Manager (Cricket) Geoff Allardice.